BLUEsat Rover succeeds in Mars Robot Challenge Expedition
UNSW’s BLUEsat Off-World Robotics Group successfully tested its prototype off-world rover during the recent Arkaroola Mars Robot Challenge Expedition, run by the Mars Society Australia.
The Expedition saw a team of 4 undergraduate students from UNSW travel to Arkaroola, located in the South Australian outback and chosen for its Mars-like conditions. An undergraduate student team from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay also attended the Expedition, along with Dr Graham Mann from Murdoch University, and Steven Hobbs from UNSW Canberra.
The UNSW team achieved some exceptional results throughout the Expedition, including sample collection and return tests, radio return tests, and the NIST Sight Test.
Following this successful testing expedition to Arkaroola, the team is developing a new, more effective and efficient rover. They are planning to enter this enhanced rover in the Mars Society's 2015 University Rover Challenge in the deserts of southern Utah, USA.
The BLUEsat Off-World Robotics Group (part of UNSW’s BLUEsat Group) provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to develop robotic systems for extra-terrestrial exploration.
BLUEsat was started in 1997 as the Basic Low-Earth Orbit UNSW Experimental Satellite (BLUEsat) project, aimed at designing, building and launching the first undergraduate satellite in Australia. With the completion and demonstration of its first prototype in early 2013, the Group expanded its operations to include research into emerging CubeSat technologies, off-world rovers and near space experimental platforms. BLUEsat is part of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at UNSW Australia.